• Peter Bateman
    It is not often that a potential H&S issue makes the headlines (except when there is a fatality) but the slushy "scandal" has proved the exception.

    National Party leader Simon Bridges has described the purchase of $1m worth of slushy machines by the Department of Corrections as wasteful expenditure.

    Corrections says the purchase was a health & wellbeing measure to help prevent prison staff from overheating during hot summer conditions.

    H&S practitioners face this dilemma every day: seeking funds to implement an intervention, and being asked to justify the expenditure in terms of the expected reduction in risk.

    In the slushy case, what does the team think: wasteful expenditure or justifiable intervention?
  • Chris Anderson
    As a means of cooling someone down I'm sure there's cheaper ways. While it has been reported that slushies are a better way of cooling people compared to cold drinks, I'm not sure the increase in cooling ability is worth the extra investment compared to simply buying drinks/ vending machines.

    In saying that, in terms of workplaces prisons are probably one of the most difficult places to work in terms of the physical environment (heat, violence) and mental fatigue (dealing with violence, prisoners etc). Anything that is going to improve the physical and mental well being of the workers can only be a good thing and of the $1.3 billion Corrections budget this spending seems minuscule
  • Matthew Bennett
    As a part of suite of methods to assist the officers to keep cool as well as raise (even if only fractionally) morale I think the slushie machines could be a great tool. I'd be looking very closely at the sugar content and the negative helath effects that this would then present.

    Turning it into a polictical football really got my hackles up. The public have yet again been sent the message that the health, safety and welbeing of front line workers and the acceptable work conditions of public servants is not worthy.
  • Sherralynne Smith
    I agree with Matthew about the media turning this issue into another political football. Surely the NZ public understand that health and safety is an important part of worker's wellbeing? The "all reasonably practicable" steps requirement in the HASAW Act covers this action. In my mind Corrections Officers don't have the luxury of being able to leave their workplace to purchase cool drinks, as they are in remote locations. The amount of gear they wear is another consideration that needs to be taken into account too.
  • TracyR
    I would challenge those that have a issue with the steps taken to go the the floor and spend time in the environment, perform the same tasks and wear the uniforms as the staff. Walk a mile in another mans shoes to ensure that the opinions offered are informative and come from a place of knowledge rather than speculation.
  • Trudy Downes
    It is certainly an innovative idea. I wouldn't call it practical. It would be interesting to see the original buisness case to see what they considered for the whole of life cost - machine purchase, sugar/health implications, cleaning, maintenance, replacement, plumbing(?), predicted ongoing levels of use, morale boost levels.
    We all know what its like buying gadgets for domestic purposes let along putting them into the workplace where it is less guaranteed that someone will administer and look after them.
    It would also be interesting to revisit how they are going in 12 months time!
  • Jono Johnson
    So the slushy machines dispense beverages with almost a weeks worth of sugar per drink but oh wait you have a choice of electrolyte solutions as well - which some would argue are equally unhealthy - a whopping 9 teaspoons in a 600ml bottle of, for example, Gatorade. With 15 calories in a single teaspoon of sugar, you're consuming a 600ml Gatorade means you're drinking 135 calories of sugar. In one sitting. PING!

    Also, much has been made about the heatwave during 2017/18 causing significant discomfort for many people, including prison staff (and prisoners, presumably), yet during that time there were no slushies but effective actions were apparently taken (e.g. more or longer breaks for prison officers (where they could take off there stab vests etc., cold towels, hand-held fans etc.) with no major incidents occurring, despite the conditions. So why not spend less money improving those seemingly effective and simple solutions, rather than now having over 5000 prison staff pinging about the place on massive sugar rushes & contracting "the diabetus" within a week?

    Surely a strategically placed small fridge in particular staff areas where staff can store their own cold beverages would be more economical - with the MOJ supplying electrolyte substances such as Sqwincher?

    Also the big unanswered question seems to be are the prison officers paying for the slushies or are they gratis?
  • Jackie Brown-Haysom
    Prison officers' work is hardly sedentary. Most spend hours on their feet and may walk several miles in the course of a shift. The new prison at Paremoremo, for instance, has some VERY long corridors. So high sugar content may be less of a problem for them than for many of us.
  • Jonathan Godfrey
    Seems some of the misinformation in the mainstream media has made it's way here, with talk about the sugar content of 'slushies' and how there were no issues the previous summer.

    The iced-beverage machines have been purchased since 2017 (according to the copy of the OIA response on the National Party website, meaning that the decision to purchase was made after the summer referred to. The fact was that, according to the union, corrections officers did suffer medical events, including being taken to hospital for out-patient treatment for heat exhaustion. The decision to purchase the machines was made after examining the use of similar machines overseas, as well as reports in medical literature that identified that iced-beverages were more effective in cooling people wearing the type of PPE corrections officers wear while on duty than standard cold water. This applies to both after-the-event cooling of an overheated worker, and pre-emptive cooling of a worker: both of these points are well known in sports science.

    As for the sugar content - just because the 'slushie' you buy from the local takeaway joint is loaded with enough sugar to trigger hyperglycaemia, it does not automatically follow that the corrections officers are drinking their way into Type 2 Diabetes. NZ Safety stocks rehydration drinks that can also be made into iced-drinks, and these can be zero-sugar. In fact, if anyone in this forum has been to the National Safety Show, you will have had the opportunity to try these sugar-free drinks.
  • Andrew
    I'd be interested in a copy of the research. The literature I've seen says the opposite.

    On the face of it I reckon the slushies are a waste of money and a treat dressed up as Health and Safety.

    There are two issues here. Over-heating and dehydration.

    To solve the over heating you either try to remove the heat source or slow the process of the exterior of the body overheating the interior. (You cook from the outside in, not the inside out). Putting something cold into the interior does not cool the exterior. The other solution is to allow the exterior to cool more efficiently. So a breeze over the exposed skin (especially after a spray of cool water) would help achieve this. As would allowing better movement of sweat away from the body. Aiding evaporation is the key. Another idea would be to provide a warm drink as this triggers the sweat response.So a slushie isn't going to solve exterior overheating thus it won't solve interior overheating.

    Indeed the last thing you want is to put something cold loaded with calories into the body. While you might get a momentary sense of coolness the body has to work hard to bring the cool liquid up to temperature in order to get the digestive process working. A process which burns calories which in turn creates heat. Double trouble if it has to burn calories to process energy in the form of sugars.

    Stands to reason that you don't want to introduce additional calories into the body - the body has to burn them which creates heat.

    And broadly speaking you don't need to replace carbohydrates lost due to the exertion as the body already has a decent store. A healthy snack at smoko and a decent lunch will see a person through. Non of this "sports drink" garbage for extra carbs

    The other issue is dehydration. Obviously as you sweat you loose hydration which at some point needs to be replaced. The simplest (and cheapest solution) is to provide water. (Not cold water - see above).

    But as you sweat you also loose electrolytes - the most common being sodium. The broad rule of thumb is if you sweat at the rate of 1 litre per hour you loose approx 1 gram of sodium. Your body already has a reasonable store of sodium so this won't be a concern for an hour or two at least. So if you are having a healthy snack at smoko you ought to be replacing the lost sodium at the correct rate.

    Heres a simple sweat test to try at work or at home. At the start jump on a set of scales (clothed or naked - its you choice) and take a reading of your weight. Now go and exert yourself for an hour. Jump back on the scales in the same state of dress as when you started. Measure you weight loss. In my case, I can run for one hour in 20 degrees and loose 1 kilo (= I litre) and thus 1 gm of sodium.

    The other potential unintended consequence is an individual drinking too much water via the slushies. The risk here is the Sodium concentrations in the blood get diluted and drops below the preferred 135 milliequivalents per litre of blood. Its also a problem for the kidneys

    So the proper manged risk response is: get individuals to measure their water loss through sweat and then provide them with timely measured water replacements. Have evaporation resources (such as air movement or water in spray bottles ) available. And of course provide for decent rest breaks in a cooler environment to give the body a chance to equalise core temperature
  • Andrew
    Again another broad rule of thumb. Walking 10 kilometers will burn approx 1,000 calories. The body holds this amount very easily as carbohydrates. (Theres around 2,000 on hold waiting to be burnt.) no need for extra sugared just a healthy lunch and maybe a snack is all that is required.)
  • Trudy Downes
    Awesome information! There is the business case for why they are a good idea! Thank you for that.
  • Andrew
    Well, I've enjoyed reading some of the research. Some of which looks totally bogus and others is really only of interest to high performing athletes.

    A few summaries included:
    1 piece used 8 males. Gave them a cold slushy , let them rest for an hour. Results were a rectal and forehead temperature drop better than a neutral or warm drink.

    Another I found much more interesting. Used 12 of athletes and tested over a 10km run. This time they were given a slushy pre-exercise. Results were for slushy suppers improved performance in their times. Core temperature did drop pre run by about 0.5 a degreeC. BUT core temp increased greater than ambient drink. And after the trial core temp was higher with Ice. So the slushies could be creating a problem!

    Another study of 8 cyclists showed the ice cooled the core in both a 32 degree c Vo2max exercise and Time Trail - but no improvement in performance. The catch here is that exercise trial was at 70% VO2 max and the time trial was over 10km. Conclusion is cooling may only be beneficial during long periods of exercise when a person is under high heat stress. There aint no way Corrections officers are working at 70%VO2 max.

    And if you really want an option you could look at the menthol with cool water -that was a success as well.

    Seems to me is that what we have is the use of irrelevant research to support a "feel good" exercise dressed up as Health and Safety to get the funding.
  • Jonathan Godfrey
    Unless the temperature of the environment is higher than a human's body temperature, the environmental contribution to heat exhaustion is not a factor. With this, one does not cook from the outside in as you put it. A person with heat exhaustion is not able to regulate their body temperature, and a contributing cause to this is the fact that there is either inadequate sweating response, or in this case sweating is ineffectual due to the clothing that is worn. In the absence of adequate cooling, the core temperature rises as there is no method by which the heat may be lost. There is a runaway thermal effect with the core temperature continuing to rise until a medical event occurs. This is noted as having occurred in the case of Corrections staff.

    Corrections very clearly identified that they examined the use of the machines overseas - a fact that was omitted from National's responses. They and the unions cited the research, with the OIA response to National stating that research showed that iced beverages were three times more effective than chilled water for reducing core temperature. My knowledge of the sports medicine comes from colleagues who work in nutritional science and who work with sports medicine specialists. As an aside, I believe that you should check the first aid treatment for heat exhaustion, as it specifies use of cool or cold liquid. It also suggests commercial sports drinks can be used (Red Cross)

    The use of iced beverages was, as I have stated, identified by Corrections as the more effective option for preventative action against heat exhaustion.

    If your concern is sugar, don't use the sugared option. I believe that I stated that very clearly, and noted that stalls at the National Safety Show have had these sugar-free options available for people to try.

    If you are still concerned about the effect of over-consumption of water, set your mind at ease. The only circumstances in which a person has been known to drop dead as a result of excessive consumption of water was after they had popped some MDMA pills and drank too much water. This occurs because the MDMA turns off the feedback system that causes the sense of thirst to turn off when the body is satisfactorily rehydrated.
  • Andrew
    Thanks Jonathon. Lets have a look at your references in a moment.

    But first we should look at the question posed by Corrections, in the OIA request which is to paraphrase “Can we improve the health and well being of our staff”. Their answer being “yes we can – by buying slushy machines”.

    It is at this point we know the purchase of the slushy machines is not a Health and Safety compliance issue. We know this because the Act says “protecting workers and other persons against harm to their health, safety, and welfare by eliminating or minimising risks arising from work”. There is clearly a difference between improving health and protecting workers.

    So the obvious answer to Peters opening question has to be “wasteful expenditure”. There is no onus on an employer to improve an employee’s health – that is a personal responsibility.

    Corrections then go on to mangle the issue. They state they want to “reduce core body temperature in excessive heat conditions while minimizing the risk of sodium depletion”. I think that what we can read from this (and in a nod to your NZ First aid link) they want to reduce the risk of a heat related illness.

    The trouble with this is that Correction know there is no risk. They know this because their “research” says so.

    “What research?” some might ask. Well it goes like this.

    From the OIA document we can establish that the summer of 2016/17 is a control year with Officers facing three variables: environmental temperature; clothing and prison muster. That control year establishes the base line of zero incidents of heat related illness. (If there was I’m sure the OIA request would have mentioned it.)

    Corrections then move onto their test year – 2017/2018. Here they change two variables. They increase environmental temperature to “significantly higher than usually experienced” and “Wellington recording its hottest temperature since records began in 2017. “

    They also increased prison muster in excess of 10,700. The increase in these two variables saw the likes of Auckland working in temperature ranging from 27 – 29 degrees with a muster of over 1,000.

    At this point its probably worth noting that there appears to be no records kept of Officer core body temperatures (how do they know temperatures are reduced if they don’t know a starting point?)

    So what were the results of this testing? Nothing. Despite the significant increase in variables there were “no major incidents occurring”. The very worse result was “significant discomfort”.

    If we look now at your First Aid reference there appears to be four levels of illness. First is “Discomfort” which isn’t an illness or harm – its simply a yellow flag warning. Next is “Heat Cramps” (none of those were reported), then comes “Heat Exhaustion” (none reported) and finally there is life threatening “Heat Stroke” (and none of those were reported.)

    So we can now conclude there is no risk of heat related illness in the Corrections department work environment. There is no safety or well being issue to improve. So no need for Slushy machines. So it’s Wasteful Expenditure as there is no risk of harm to eliminate or minimize.

    Corrections then mangle the issue even further and let the cat out of the bag. “The Machines offer an ongoing benefit of……… improving staff performance during extreme hot weather”

    So its not a health and safety issue. Its a performance management issue.

    So back to Peters original question “H&S practitioners face this dilemma every day: seeking funds to implement an intervention, and being asked to justify the expenditure in terms of the expected reduction in risk.

    In the slushy case, what does the team think: wasteful expenditure or justifiable intervention?”

    The answer has to be “wasteful expenditure”
  • Andrew
    Just so I’m not seen here as the “Negative Nelly” of forum posters I can offer a solution to Corrections problem which is how to improve the health and wellbeing of our staff. The answer is simple. And it is……… “pudding”. Or more specifically “You cant have any pudding”

    Research shows (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8990832) with a study of 218 soldiers who suffered heat disorder and 530 controls, people with a Body Mass Index of more than 27 are at an increased risk of a heat disorder when working in hot / humid conditions.

    Stop eating pudding is a very elegant solution. Costs us tax payers nothing and improves the health and well being of correction staff. Win / Win all around. And isn’t that what health and safety is all about!
  • Annalisa
    Have they considered the sugar content? Which is bad. Also I've heard in India they drink hot tea in heat, it hydrates while cools as brings the body temp up to air temp. Could just be 'Woo-woo' but justifying slushy machines sounds equally 'woo-woo' , a whole heap dearer, and with added harm of sugar consumption I am skeptical
  • Jonathan Godfrey
    To be blunt Andrew, you are presenting a strawman argument, as Correction's OIA response to National does not include the associated risk or hazard assessments as National had not asked for them. So unless you had filed your own OIA request for those specific documents, your comments about their risk assessment process are entirely invalid.

    As an aside, you appear to have made a typo in your comments about temperature data - the OIA response refers to records in Wellington going back to 1927, not 2017.

    While those temperatures may not look impressively high, if you are in a confined space with limited air movement, temperatures inside can actually be higher than the temperatures recorded at weather monitoring stations outside. I have laboratories that have on occasion been 12 degrees above the outside temperatures - this data is from temperature loggers I had installed in the labs, and compared with a nearby weather-station my employer owns. Even if air-con is used, it struggles if it was designed for the presence of a particular number of people, and someone has decided to increase the number of people present for some reason. The result will be that the temperature increases (despite air-con in some residential units in prisons), and people in heavy clothing will experience issues with that temperature.

    You then proceeded to misinterpret the first aid information. I had made reference to that because you had chosen to make a comment suggesting use of a warm drink as a remedy. Where a person shows symptoms of heat exhaustion, you do not supply them with warm drinks. This applies also when you only have a suspicion that something is going on. It's called being cautious. Were you to pull such a stunt in my workplace, I would be instructing you to leave the area.

    Over all, your reasoning is deeply flawed, as it is based on supposition about documents to which you do not have access (namely the risk assessments), inadequate understanding of the differentials between indoor and outdoor temperatures on hot days (and the associated limitations on air-con), and the misinterpretation of Correction's use of the word 'performance' in that you think it requires performance management rather than their attempt to modify the risk profile of the work environment.

    The whole story was a petty piece of clickbait, and too many people fell for it. Unless the actual risk assessments are analysed, critics' commentary is invalid.
  • Andrew
    Theres one thing you won't know about me Jonathan. I have fat fingers on a keyboard and if any one wants to score points on the basis of spelling (and grammar/apostrophes - I'm a shocker at that as well) then I am always fair game.

    At the end of the day, it appears Correction Officers were subjected to extremes in temperatures and extremes in prison musters and there was no consequential harm. Corrections existing controls were working. Therefore no requirement for a treat dressed up as safety.

    If someone tries to tell me that Corrections needs one slushy machine per 25 - 30 staff (eg 4 machines for 110 staff at Invercargill prison - arguably the coolest prison in NZ), without even looking at the numbers of staff on per shift then we ought not be calling this "safety". We should be calling it "bullshit"

    Since that post of mine scored zero Love hearts I can't work out how you would conclude it was "click bait"
  • Jonathan Godfrey
    Here's a thing you don't know about me Andrew, I can't type for toffee, and when I was a teacher, I taught kids how to deal with problems like that. I considered the possibility of a typo, and dismissed it on the basis someone who knows they have issues with their typing should be very careful.

    But back to the topic - the only document in public forum is the OIA response to National - I have a copy of it. At no point can the matters you have suggested be considered to be supported by the evidence. This is particularly the case with your assertion that there was no consequential harm from the extremes in temperature.

    If you think the distribution of machines is odd, it reflects the segregated layout of prisons. I assure you that you would be shocked at the numbers of coffee machines some schools I have worked at have. The ratios are similar, and they are not cheap machines either. Based on the per unit prices, I suspect there are a few details regarding the machines that make them atypical, but I do not have sufficient interest in finding out.

    The clickbait reference was to the entire story pushed by National. I've spend too long in the public service to be tolerant of being used as a political football by politicians who think it acceptable to use public servants as some sort of soft target because the public servants so targeted are not permitted by the State Sector Act to reply.
  • Andrew
    I hope kids are taught, firstly to never take anything written on an intent forum seriously. And second never rely on the accuracy of anything on the internet unless it is referenced and even then tread with care.

    In the interests of precision I’ll try to provide direct quotes from the OIA which I use to come to the view I have. WARNING – they are typed rather than copy/pasted so errors are likely! I use these parts of the OIA to back my assertion that there was no consequential harm from the extremes in temperature and that Slushy machines are noting other than a “treat”.

    “During the summer of 2017/2018 NZ experienced significantly higher temperatures than usually experienced with Wellington recording its hottest January since records began in 1927. The heat caused significant discomfort to our staff”

    So from this it is reasonable to conclude that despite the hot temperatures no harm befell Corrections Officers. The worse they suffered was “significant discomfort”.

    A moment’s research will show Corrections temperatures are broadly accurate with NIWA saying “January 2018 (New Zealand mean temperature 20.3°C; 3.1°C higher than the 1981-2010 January average) was New Zealand’s hottest month on record,” A bit of further digging shows on 29 January Wellington experienced 28.5 degrees max for the month. (Just as an aside if it was me, I would have cited Dunedin who came in at 35 degrees on the 16th. )

    So we can conclude its hot, damn hot! Blistering hot. As hot as hades. As hot as hot can get. No doubt about it, she was one hot summer. But despite that the worse that happened to Corrections Officers was “significant discomfort”

    The other part of the OIA I rely on is “These actions, combined with the actions of our staff, were effective – with no major incidents occurring despite the conditions”.

    What further evidence do you need that the risks are well established and the actual real consequences known?

    It is plain as day that Corrections existing controls are working in the most extreme of conditions and the worst they can report is "significant discomfort".

    By way of a benchmarking exercise I checked our temperatures for that January. Our max was over 32 degrees. We have people working on a furnace burning at 900 degrees C wearing full length overalls, gloves and boots in an air pressurised / sealed tin building. As a ratio we provide 6 water drinking fountains, 2 instant coffee dispensers, 2 sugar dispensers and 1 powdered chocolate flavoured beverage dispenser per 150 staff. And not one single heat related issue at all. Certainly moans, but zero harm. Needless to say you won't see any extravagant, pointless slushy machines here! We take safety very seriously and we also have a very good understanding of cash flows and income vs expenditure. Which is why our people get pay rises every year - unlike teachers.

    I still haven’t seen anything in the OIA that suggests that this is anything but “wasteful expenditure” of tax payer money.
  • Janene Magson
    and if Corrections did nothing for their staff that too would be "frowned" upon. The vests that the Corrections Officers wear prevents their bodies to recoup from heat as this traps the heat. They don't sit in air-con offices and as said somewhere above most of the prisons are quite big and maybe if one has "walked a mile in their shoes"(and uniform with vest) one can make a more informed conclusion. Also in terms if the the controls that were in place, would that not maybe have left staff having to "cover" for those who were uncomfortable which adds to stress as a result of being short staffed etc. Another point is that there are various tasks within the prison and not all are escorting tasks, there are kitchens, laundry, industries, farming just to name a few and in all these situations the staff member will have to wear a vest as they are still working with prisoners. I also assume that a business case is done for a reason and not just bought at any Whitcoulls off the shelf. Your reference to staff working on a furnace, they would some sort of barrier, be it in the coveralls, and if they were getting too hot they can step into their great smoko room or go outside whereas Corrections officers don't have that privilege as a prison does not stop for anyone
  • Andrew
    I totally understand and appreciate "The vests that the Corrections Officers wear prevents their bodies to recoup from heat as this traps the heat."

    Despite that, the evidence provided by Corrections in the OIA (which presumably relates to all their different work areas, and potential "stress") is that the worst that happened was "significant discomfort".

    (Manufacturing is like the energizer bunny - it just keeps on going. Until such point a safety issue arises - there were none. There is no wandering outside where it is hotter or taking unscheduled smoko breaks. Shipping waits for no one)

    As an aside I wonder how many Slushy Machines NZ Police have?
  • Michelle Dykstra
    Thank you @Jonathan Godfrey for your reasonings and explanations.

    In my workplace, we use "significant discomfort" reports as an indicator that we have to do more to ensure the safety and well-being of our workers.

    There are so many variables in managing heat so for us, "significant discomfort" reports help us know how we are tracking.

    Taken from the below Worksafe article,"Recognising the signs of thermal discomfort or stress and raising concerns is important for both businesses and workers to manage health risks that come from working in an environment – that is too hot or too cold. Workers and businesses need to be aware that there is a link between heat and fatigue, which leads to potential for more fatigue-related accidents."


    In our workplace we apply a variety of measures - rotation, ventilation, extra hydration breaks and access to water coolers. Our plan for next summer includes electrolytes. A slushy machine would be an easy way to dispense this as we are always looking for ways to increase our productivity... a win/win.
  • Andrew
    If you are looking for an electrolyte replacement you really can't go past nature. Bananas - $0.50 cents a pop. (Check out any running marathon event - you'll see them doled out at the end. And for good reason)

    If you want a cold slushy, defrost a 10 pack of popsicles for $5.75 a box.

    Versus a slushy machine at an annual running cost of $2,900 per machine (ex ingredients)
  • Janene Magson
    Police can still stop off at a dairy and drive in air-con cars. That is the biggest difference to any other workplace environment, the corrections officers are "stuck" at their work site for 8hours, my husband used to be one, granted, before they were issued with vests
  • Michelle Dykstra
    Thanks @Andrew.

    Yes we do provide popsicles to staff on very hot days and are considering a fruit bowl including bananas.
    However refreshing these options may be, some of our staff need to take care to limit sugar intake.
    What's really needed is the replacement of salts lost through sweating.

    Over and out.
  • Andrew
    I fully appreciate the discomfort corrections officers must feel. Its why I have so much respect for this guy: https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/110824214/panting-puffing-and-pushing-through-1300-runners-take-to-the-port-hills-for-memorial-run

    And yes - its seems not to be so much of an issue with police. They are happy with 32 degree heart and a drink of water. Only one heat related complaint from 600 staff.

    Seems the Minister of Justice, Andrew Little has a threshold he is happy to move well past past. 50 vest related injuries and over $27,000 in accident costs is "absolutely nothing' according to Andrew Little. Http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/354847/Stab-proof-vests-blamed-for-police-injuries

    Just as well since Corrections only had "significant discomfort"
  • Tony Walton
    Like your sense of humour and independent thinking Andrew - something we need a lot more of in this space.
  • Jono Johnson
    First world problems IMO. The soldiers I served with in Bosnia in 1995/96 didn't have any gatorade or electrolytes when they were foot patrolling in 15+kg of body armour, not including weapon, ammo & kevlar helmet, in 20+ degree heat. They seemed to do okay with only water.
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